JAY Z’s return to the rap scene was always going to be one for the history books — and one of the songs off his brand new album 4:44 is the latest hit to be making waves.
The song Moonlight focuses on the Academy Award mix-up from five months ago when La La Land was briefly awarded the Best Picture Oscar instead of the rightful winner Moonlight.
The song takes a long, hard look at Hollywood as increasing pressure is put on studios to diversify their shows and movies with a more multicultural cast.
And Jay Z seems to have taken the diversity issue into his own hands — by re-creating the hugely successful sitcom Friends with an all African-American cast.
The eighth track got its video treatment today and, while it is still only exclusively able to be viewed on the streaming service Tidal, the preview is sending Jay Z’s message loud and clear.
The short snippet released by the streaming service re-creates the opening sequence of the show, even filming at the same fountain where the original cast filmed years ago.
The clip stars Jerrod Carmichael (Transformers: The Last Knight), Issa Rae (Insecure), Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip), LaKeith Stanfield (Atlanta), Lil Rey Howery (Get Out) and Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok).
After the intro, the video features the stellar cast acting out scenes from the Friends episode The One Where No-one’s Ready word for word.
When the cast takes a break in-between scenes, Carmichael walks up to speak to comedian Hannibal Buress, who explained the video to Vox.
“As everyone else gets ready to keep rolling, the video breaks the multi-cam format to focus on Carmichael, looking around the set and hating everything about it. And it’s at this point, as Carmichael walks off the Friends set, that Jay-Z’s Moonlight finally starts playing, his voice breathing that they’re “stuck in La La Land; even when we win, we gon’ lose.”
And just like the opening line of the song, the rest of Moonlight stays just as powerful.
“Y’all n***as still signin’ deals? Still? / After all they done stole, for real? / After what they done to our Lauryn Hill?”
The song was also explained by Jay Z when he sat down with iHeart Radioto promote the monumental album.
“The hook is ‘We stuck in La La Land/Even if we win, we gonna lose.’ It’s like a subtle nod to La La Land winning the Oscar, and then having to give it to Moonlight. It’s really a commentary on the culture and where we’re going,” he said.
The full video for Moonlight is expected to be released on the rest of the world’s streaming services next week.